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Alabama 564 articles

Pharmacists plead guilty for compounded drugs linked to patient deaths

Syringe

Two Alabama pharmacists who compounded drugs contaminated with bacteria that were linked to nine deaths have agreed to plead guilty to charges of drug adulteration, according to the U.S. Department of Justice. David Lee Allen and William Timothy Rogers, both pharmacists with the now shuttered Meds IV, could spend up to two years in prison, though prosecutors have agreed to recommend lighter sentences. Rogers also served as the president of Meds IV. The pharmacy made an intravenous amino acid dietary solution called total parenteral nutrition, or TPN, which was shipped to hospitals and administered to patients. Some patients developed bloodstream ... Read More

50 New Illnesses, 2 Deaths Linked Salmonella-Contaminated Cucumbers

cucumbers

A massive outbreak of Salmonella illnesses linked to cucumbers from Mexico that started last July continues to infect people across the U.S., with 50 more cases reported in 16 states, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said Tuesday. The CDC update was the latest in a series of updates and recall expansions that ran from Sept. 4, 2015 to Nov. 19. To date, 888 illnesses and six deaths have been connected to the same Salmonella outbreak. Illnesses have been reported in 39 states since the outbreak began. Whole genome sequencing of Salmonella isolates collected from sickened people and from ... Read More

New High-speed Cameras Weigh Commercial Vehicles, Check For Violations On Alabama Highway

trucks on highway

Motorists who drive I-85 between Montgomery and Shorter, Ala., have voiced concerns to WSFA about cameras and a flashing green light a half mile south of exit 22 that they suspect are issuing speeding tickets. But when Montgomery’s WSFA looked into the matter, it found that the cameras aren’t paying attention to passenger vehicles. It’s commercial vehicles that they are monitoring. Officials with the Alabama Law Enforcement Agency (ALEA) told WSFA that the flashing green light is part of a currently unannounced system that weighs commercial vehicles as they pass through and simultaneously searches databases to determine whether the vehicle has ... Read More

Dole recalls packaged salad linked to listeria contamination, one death

Recall - Dole salad - manufacturing code

Dole Food Co. Inc., in cooperation with the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has issued a multi-state recall for packaged salads possibly contaminated with a strain of the listeria monocytogenes (listeriosis) bacteria. The CDC reports one person has died and 12 were hospitalized after eating packaged salads prepared and distributed at Dole’s Springfield, Ohio, facility. According to a CDC news release, the outbreak has affected people in six states. One person from Michigan died as a result of listeriosis, and one of the 12 people hospitalized was pregnant. The CDC reports five people who fell ill reported eating ... Read More

Truck driver and vehicle located in Tallapoosa River after weekend crash

truck crash, Osh Kosh, Tallapoosa River, Emerald Mountain, Alabama - image ALEA via WSFA

MONTGOMERY, Ala. – Local and state authorities continued searching Monday for the driver of a concrete truck who collided with another truck on the Emerald Mountain Toll Bridge Saturday morning and plunged into the Tallapoosa River. Around 3:30 p.m. CT, Sergeant Steve Jarrett with Alabama State Troopers told WSFA the wreckage of the truck had been located. Alabama State Trooper Jess Thornton told Alabama News Network that Lonnie Phillips, 66, of Shorter, Ala., was hauling 80,000 pounds of concrete when he had a head-on collision with another Oshkosh concrete-mixing truck about 5:30 a.m. The collision forced Mr. Phillips’ truck off ... Read More

Blue Bell Says Tests Show No Listeria In Factories, Products

Blue Bell Ice Cream 1

Blue Bell Creameries said that tests it has been running on its products and in its three manufacturing facilities have shown no signs of Listeria contamination – an indication that overhauling and sanitizing its production processes have been effective in preventing outbreaks of foodborne illness. Still, it’s bound to be a bittersweet New Year for the Texas-based ice cream maker, which had to recall all of its products and shut down its production last year after a deadly outbreak of listeriosis was traced to its ice cream. The outbreak sickened at least 10 people in four states and was blamed ... Read More

OSHA investigation into Independence Tube plant worker’s death still ongoing

OSHA-logo

According to the Decatur Daily, the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA)’s investigation into the accidental death of Independence Tube facility worker Gary Timothy “Tim” Cooper could be wrapped up in as soon as six weeks. Cooper lost his life when a three-ton steel coil fell onto him in October of last year. Despite the Decatur Police Department investigation ruling the incident an accident, investigators were unable to figure out why the 6,000-pound coil fell in the first place. At the time of the accident, Cooper, who was originally from Decatur but living in Hartselle at the time, was ... Read More

U.S. Justice Dept Opens Criminal Probe of Blue Bell In Wake Of Listeria Crisis

Blue Bell Ice Cream 1

Ice cream manufacturer Blue Bell is facing a criminal investigation after federal authorities found evidence the company knew that at least one of its plants was contaminated with Listeria as early as 2013 but failed to act. Brenham, Texas-based Blue Bell Creameries recalled all of its ice cream products in April after an outbreak of Listeria illnesses in four states that killed three people was linked to ice cream made in the contaminated facilities. The company subsequently shut down all three of its manufacturing plants in Brenham, Broken Arrow, Okla.; and Sylacauga, Ala., to disinfect equipment, make repairs, and bring its ... Read More

Dozens More Hospitals Settle Medicare Fraud Allegations With U.S.

Pills - Stethoscope on Money

Thirty-two hospitals located throughout 15 states will pay the U.S. more than $28 million collectively to settle allegations that they routinely overbilled Medicare for minimally invasive kyphoplasty spinal procedures, the Justice Department announced today, adding that it has now reached settlements with more than 130 hospitals totaling approximately $105 million to resolve allegations that they mischarged Medicare the procedure. Kyphoplasty is a procedure performed to treat certain spinal fractures that are caused by osteoporosis in most cases. Usually kyphoplasty can be performed safely and effectively as an outpatient procedure without any need for a more costly inpatient hospital admission. All but ... Read More

Panel consolidates Bair Hugger lawsuits into MDL

Bair Hugger

Fourteen lawsuits waged against 3M Company and its subsidiary Arizant Healthcare Inc., over infections allegedly caused by the companies’ post-surgical warming blanket have been consolidated into a multidistrict litigation (MDL) under U.S. District Judge Joan N. Ericksen. Nine of the 14 cases were filed in Minnesota. The others were filed in Alabama, Arkansas, Kansas, Ohio and Texas. At least 51 other lawsuits involving the warming blankets are pending in federal courts and could likely be added to the MDL. The lawsuits claim the companies Bair Hugger warming blanket, which warms and maintains patients’ body temperature during and after surgery, blew ... Read More